Cosmos fall to Miami FC, eliminated from spring title contention
‘Tough Result and Tough Spring. Still a Long Way to Go.’
The Cosmos traveled to South Florida on Saturday for a must-win game that would determine their season against first-place Miami FC.
A victory for New York would close the gap between the two teams to four points, while a loss would eliminate the Cosmos from the North American Soccer League (NASL) spring title contention.
Miami — which entered the match on a 12-game unbeaten streak — was looking to avenge its only loss of the season against the Cosmos back on April 8.
Despite the Cosmos scoring first on a goal from Emmanuel Ledesma, New York fell to Miami 2-1 in a well-fought battle.
“We did things the right way and had possession, but were unlucky to find the second goal,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese.
“We tried to win the match, but Miami defended themselves well with 10 men. We will continue to work hard until the end of the Spring Season.”
With only three games left for the Cosmos and 10 points separating the two teams, the Cosmos were officially eliminated from NASL Spring title contention.
The Cosmos will, however, try to maximize points in their final matches in a push to make the playoffs.
The winners of the spring and fall campaigns get automatic qualification into the four-team playoffs. The next two teams with the best records over the course of the two seasons get the final two spots.
Miami FC can secure the Spring title with a win against North Carolina on July 4 or if the San Francisco Deltas lose to Puerto Rico FC on July 2.
Emmanuel Ledesma, who earned NASL Play of the Week for his goal versus Puerto Rico FC last game, put the Cosmos on the board first in the sixth minute.
A take away in the midfield by Javi Marquez ignited an attack down the right side of the field.
Marquez lofted a ball through two defenders to Ledesma, who collected it at the top of the box. The Argentine forward took a touch towards goal and fired home his third goal of the season to the near post through a defender’s legs.
Miami FC would equalize in the 20th minute on a shot by Stefano Pinho that deflected off a Cosmos defender and trickled into the back of the net.
At the start of the second half, Richie Ryan’s in-swinging corner found the head of Vincenzo Rennella, who buried his league-leading eighth goal at point-blank range to put the hosts ahead.
In the 59th minute, Miami FC forward and former New York City FC fan favorite Kwadwo Poku was shown a red card for an elbow to the face.
With a man up, the Cosmos tested Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega several times over the course of the game, but Miami defended well and grinded out a win in front of 6,219 fans at FIU’s Riccardo Silva Stadium.
The defeat was the Cosmos’ first loss on the road this season
Following the match, Jimmy Maurer wrote on Twitter, “Disappointing loss [Saturday] in Miami, but proud of the work we are putting in. We are on the right path.”
Jimmy Mulligan added, “Tough result and tough spring. Still a long way to go. Stick with us. We have a great group! Love our fans, we’ll be better.”
The Cosmos return to MCU Park to face Indy Eleven on Tuesday, July 4 at 7:30 pm.
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